The wrist is susceptible to various conditions that cause pain. This pain may stem from an injury, such as a sudden strain or sprain, or from a medical condition, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, pain may also arise as a result of overuse, such as participating in certain sports, such as bowling or tennis. Tendonitis or fractures can also be a contributing factor. Bandaging an injured wrist, when combined with other treatment methods, can help relieve pain and heal. More serious injuries may require a brace or even a cast if a bone is broken. Wrist bandages are often used to prevent injury in some sports.
Part 1 of 5: Bandaging the Injured Wrist
Step 1. Wrap the wrist
Bandaging will apply pressure. This pressure helps reduce swelling, pain, and provides the stability needed to limit movement, so your injury can heal more effectively.
- Use an elastic band to compress and support the wrist. Begin the bandage at the point furthest from the heart.
- This method is done to prevent swelling of the bottom, which can occur due to the bandaging process. The pressure can help restore the flow of lymph and veins to the heart.
Step 2. Start dressing from the hand area
Make the first bandage around the finger just below the fist and cover the palm.
- Passing through the area between your thumb and forefinger, wrap a few more times around your wrist. Continue up to the elbows.
- Wrapping the area from the hand to the elbow is recommended to provide the best level of stability, aid healing, and prevent further injury.
- Each dressing should cover 50% of the previous dressing.
Step 3. Reverse direction
Once you reach your elbows, continue flipping backwards pointing toward your hands. You may need more than one elastic band.
Wrap it in the shape of at least one figure 8, wrapping the area between your thumb and forefinger
Step 4. Secure the position of the pad
Using tongs or other tools, secure the ends to a stable part of the bandage along the forearm area.
Check the fingers for warmth to make sure the bandage is not too tight. Also make sure that all fingers are movable, that there are no numb areas, and that the bandage is not too tight. The bandage should be tight but not so tight that it blocks blood flow
Step 5. Remove the bandage
Open when it's time to compress.
Don't sleep bandaged. For some types of injuries, your doctor may suggest other methods of support to help your wrist heal at night. Follow the doctor's instructions
Step 6. Continue to wrap your wrist after the first 72 hours
You may need four to six weeks for the injury to heal.
- Keeping your wrist bandaged during this time can help you gradually return to your activities, aid in injury recovery, and prevent further injury.
- The risk of swelling will decrease after 72 hours.
Step 7. Use different bandaging techniques as you continue the activity
Different wrist bandaging methods can provide greater stability to the injured area, and allow you to resume minor activities when ready.
- Begin the bandage by placing an elastic band over the area just above the injury, on the elbow side of the injured area. Wrap the tape along the forearm at this location, two to three times.
- The next dressing should pass through the injured area and be made several times around the forearm, just below the injured area and closer to the hand. This method provides greater stability for the injured part of the wrist, which now lies between the two sections of the elastic band.
- Make at least two number 8s between your thumb and forefinger. Secure the position with an additional bandage around the wrist.
- Continue wrapping toward the elbow covering 50% of the previous wrap around the forearm.
- Reverse direction and wrap back towards the hand.
- Secure all ends of the elastic band with clasps or retaining tabs.
- Wrist injuries are best treated if the bandage covers the finger or palm area up to the elbow. You may need more than one elastic band to properly bandage your injured wrist.
Part 2 of 5: Caring for an Injured Wrist
Step 1. Treat yourself at home
Minor wrist injuries involving strains or sprains can be treated at home.
- Tension usually involves sprained or overstretched muscles, or the tendons that connect muscle to bone.
- A sprain occurs when a ligament is overstretched or torn. Ligaments are the links between bones.
- The symptoms of strain and sprain are usually very similar. The injured area will hurt, swell, and have limited movement in the affected joint or muscle.
- Bruising is more common in sprains, which sometimes produce a "crackling" sound when the injury occurs. Tension involves muscle tissue, so muscle spasms will also occasionally occur.
Step 2. Use the R-I-C-E treatment
Both tension/muscle tension and sprain will respond well to this therapy.
R I C E stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (rest, ice packs, pressure, and lifting of body parts)
Step 3. Rest your wrist
Try not to use it as much as possible for a few days to allow the wrist to heal. Rest is the most important step in the four areas defined as RICE.
- Resting the wrist means that you should avoid activity on the related hand. Don't let the wrist work at all when possible.
- This means that you should not lift objects with your hands, twist their wrists, or bend them. It also means that you may not write or work on a computer, depending on the severity of the injury.
- To help your wrist rest, consider buying a brace. Support is especially important when your tendon is injured. The support will help keep the wrist in position and prevent it from moving. These braces can be purchased at most drug stores.
Step 4. Make use of the ice
Apply ice to the wrist. The cold temperature will pass through the outer skin and penetrate deeper areas of soft tissue.
- Cooler temperatures reduce blood flow to the area and help minimize swelling and reduce inflammation in the injured area.
- Ice can be used by putting it in a bag. In addition, you can also use frozen vegetables or other types of ice packs. Wrap the compress in a cloth or towel and avoid placing it directly on the skin.
- Leave it for 20 minutes each time you compress. Then, allow the injured area to warm to room temperature for 90 minutes. Repeat the process as often as possible, at least two to three times each day, in the first 72 hours after the injury.
Step 5. Press the wrist
Pressure helps minimize swelling, provides stability, and prevents sudden, painful movements.
- Use an elastic bandage. Start at the hand or finger area and wrap around the wrist. Gradually aim at the elbows. For the greatest stability and aid in healing, this area should be wrapped from the hand and fingers to the elbow.
- This is done to prevent swelling of the lower part of the injured area when it is bandaged.
- Each dressing should cover 50% of the previous dressing.
- Double check to make sure the bandage is not too tight and that there are no numb areas on the hand.
- Remove the bandage when you need to compress the injured area.
- Don't sleep wearing a bandage. For some types of injuries, your doctor may suggest other methods to support your wrist at night. Follow the instructions.
Step 6. Lift your wrist
Lifting can help reduce pain, swelling, and bruising.
Hold your wrist higher than your heart when applying ice, before pressing, and when you are resting
Step 7. Continue to wrap your wrist after the first 72 hours have passed
You may need four to six weeks for the injury to heal. Keeping your wrist bandaged during this time can help you gradually return to activities, support injury healing, and prevent further injury.
Step 8. Resume normal activities
Try to return to normal activities gradually with the injured wrist.
- It's normal to feel a little uncomfortable trying to get back into motion or practicing hand recovery.
- Try taking an NSAID such as tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin for pain relief if needed.
- All activities that cause pain should be avoided and done more gradually.
- Everyone and their injuries are different. Four to six weeks is only an approximate time for healing.
Part 3 of 5: Bandaging Wrist for Exercise
Step 1. Prevent overstretching and bending
Wrist bandages to prevent injury from exercise are most commonly used to avoid the two most common types of wrist injuries. These injuries result from overstretching and bending.
- Injuries from overstretching are the most common type. This injury occurs when your hands try to hold your body down and you land in an open position.
- This type of fall causes the wrist to bend backwards to support the weight of the body and the impact of the fall. This condition is called overstretching / hyperextension.
- Hyperflexion occurs when the outside of the hand supports the weight of the body when falling. In this way, the wrist bends forward excessively, on the inside of the arm.
Step 2. Wrap the wrist to prevent overstretching
In some sports, these injuries are more common, and athletes often wrap their wrists to prevent these injuries or their recurrence.
- The first step in dressing to prevent overstretching is to start with the initial dressing.
- A pre-wrap, or pre-wrap, is a slightly sticky type of rolled tape used to protect the skin from irritation, which is sometimes caused by the stronger glues in athletic and medical tape products.
- This initial wrap, sometimes also called underwrap, is available in a standard 2.75 inch (approx. 7 cm) wide and is available in a variety of colors and textures. Some of the products are thicker or feel like foam.
- Wrap the wrist with pre-wrap. Start at about a third or a half between the wrist and elbow area.
- The bandage should be firm but not too tight. Wrap several times around the wrist area and across the hand. Also pass the thumb and forefinger at least once. Work your way down to the wrist and forearm area, then wrap it around the wrist and forearm several times.
Step 3. Secure the position
Using standard 2.5 and 1.25 cm wide athletic or medical tape, secure the pre-wrap position.
- The piece of tape that is placed around the wrist area with a few centimeters of excess length to secure it is called an anchor.
- Start fixing the anchors in place. Fit around the pre-wrap starting in the area closest to the elbow. Continue anchoring over the pre-wrap, along the wrist and forearm area.
- The part of the pre-wrap that goes through the hand should also be attached with a longer anchor, in the same pattern as the pre-wrap.
Step 4. Begin to bandage the wrist
With standard 2.5 and 1.25 cm athletic or medical tape, start at the point closest to the elbow and wrap around the wrist in a continuous motion. Use more tape as needed than the roll.
- Follow the same pattern as in the pre-wrap, including crossing the area between your thumb and forefinger a few times.
- Continue wrapping the wrist until all pre-wrap areas and edges starting from the anchor are well covered.
Step 5. Add fans
The fan is a key element in strengthening the dressing but providing stability in the hand position to prevent further injury.
- Although the term fan, in fact the shape is more similar to a bow tie. Start with tape long enough to reach the palm of the hand, past the wrist, then reach about one-third of the forearm.
- Place a piece of tape on a clean flat surface. Add another piece of tape that is the same length and goes through the first piece of tape at an angle.
- Continue with another piece of tape in the same way, but on the opposite side. Make sure the angles are also the same. The final shape will be like a bow tie.
- Place another piece of tape just above the first piece. This way, your fan shape is stronger.
Step 6. Glue this fan over the pad
Place one end on the palm area. Slowly pull your hands until they are slightly bent. Secure the other end along the inside of the wrist.
- Hands should not be bent inward excessively. If this happens, his ability to be used for sports will be impaired. By securing the hand in a slightly flexed position, you ensure that the injured person can still use it, but that the hand is kept in a position that avoids overstretching.
- Continue to install the fan with the last pack of tape to secure the fan position.
Step 7. Prevent excessive bending
The bandaging technique that prevents this follows the same steps as the bandage technique for the overstretch problem, except for the placement of the fan.
- Fans are made in the same way, namely by forming a bow tie.
- The fan is then placed on the outside of the hand, and the hand is gently pulled at a very small angle to open the hand position. Secure the other end of the fan through the wrist area, and over the tapered area on the outside of the forearm.
- Secure the fan shape in the same way as the over-bending prevention method, by wrapping the wrist again with tape. Make sure all ends are secured.
Step 8. Use fewer pads
In some cases, you will only need a light dressing.
- Use a strip of pre-wrap around the hand along the fist area, going through the area between the thumb and index finger.
- Place the second pre-wrap just below the wrist, at the elbow side.
- Place two pieces of tape crosswise on the outside of your hand. Attach one end to the pre-wrap that goes over the thumb and forefinger, and the other end to the pre-wrap along the forearm.
- Follow the criss-cross pieces and attach them in the same way, but this time on the inside of the hands and wrists and forearms.
- Wrap the wrist starting at the forearm and some wrapping around the area. Add a cross or an X. Bring the pre-wrap through the area between the thumb and forefinger, then around the fist, and back to the wrist.
- Continue wrapping to create a criss-cross pattern on the inside and outside of the hand. Secure each bandage to the wrist and forearm.
- Follow up with anchors, using standard 2.5 and 1.25 cm sized athletic or medical tape. Start at the forearm area and work your way up to the hands. Follow the same pattern used in the pre-wrap.
- Once the anchors are in place, start wrapping with the joints, following the pre-wrap pattern.
- Make sure all areas of the pre-wrap are covered, as well as any loose anchor ends.
Part 4 of 5: Seeking Medical Care
Step 1. Make sure the wrist is not broken
A broken wrist requires immediate medical attention. If this is the case, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Severe pain that gets worse when you try to grip or squeeze something.
- Swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the hand or fingers.
- Tenderness and pain when the hand is pressed.
- A marked change in shape, which involves positioning the hand at an abnormal angle.
- If the bone is broken badly, the skin may open and bleed, and the bone may come out and protrude.
Step 2. Do not delay medical treatment
Delay for a broken wrist can interfere with its healing.
- This can cause problems as you try to regain normal range of motion and resume the ability to grip and hold objects normally.
- The doctor will examine the wrist and may run photo tests such as x-rays to see if there are any broken or fractured bones.
Step 3. Watch for signs of a possible scaphoid fracture
The scaphoid is a vessel-shaped bone that lies beyond the other bones of the wrist, and is closest to the thumb. There will be no clear sign when this bone is broken. The wrist will not be visibly deformed, and the swelling may be minimal. Symptoms of a broken scaphoid bone include:
- Pain and tenderness when the hand is touched.
- Difficulty grasping objects.
- The pain subsides after a few days, then comes back, and feels like a rather mild pain.
- Severe pain and tenderness can be felt when the tendons between the thumb and hand are pressed.
- See a doctor for a diagnosis if you experience any of these symptoms. You need help from a medical professional, as diagnosing a broken scaphoid is not always easy.
Step 4. Seek medical attention for severe symptoms
If your wrist is bleeding, very swollen, and if you experience intense pain, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible.
- Other symptoms that require medical attention for a wrist injury include pain when trying to twist it, moving the hand, and fingers.
- You should see a doctor immediately if you are unable to move your wrist, hand or fingers.
- If your injury is considered minor and can be managed with follow-up care at home, see your doctor if the pain and swelling lasts for more than a few days or your symptoms worsen.
Part 5 of 5: Preventing Wrist Injury
Step 1. Take calcium
Calcium helps strengthen bones.
Most people need at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily. For women over the age of 50, the minimum recommended dose of calcium is 1,200 mg per day
Step 2. Avoid falling
One of the biggest reasons that trigger wrist injuries is falling forward and holding yourself back with your hands.
- To prevent this, try to wear proper footwear and make sure your corridors and outdoor areas are well lit.
- Install handrails along stairs or uneven outdoor areas.
- Also consider installing handrails in the bathroom and either side of the stairs.
Step 3. Use ergonomic equipment
When you spend time typing on a computer, use an ergonomic keyboard or a foam mouse pad, which is designed to position your wrist in a more natural way.
Take frequent breaks and arrange the table area so that your arms and wrists can rest in a relaxed and neutral position
Step 4. Wear proper protective equipment
If you participate in sports that require hand movement, make sure you wear the right equipment to prevent injury.
- Many sports can cause wrist injuries. Wearing the right equipment, including wrist guards and braces can help minimize and sometimes prevent injury.
- Examples of sports that are frequently associated with wrist injuries include in-line skating, regular skating, snowboarding, skiing, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, bowling, and golf.
Step 5. Adjust the muscle condition
Condition training, stretching, and strengthening muscles can help you develop them to prevent injury.
- By working to develop the condition and feel of your muscles, you will be able to participate more safely in the sports you enjoy.
- Consider hiring the services of a sports coach. To prevent injury, take steps to work closely with your coach so that your body can develop properly and you can still enjoy the sport, while minimizing the risk of injury.